Some members of the eleven-thirty-third Transportation Company based in Mason City will be coming home for a little rest and relaxation. 1133rd Staff Sergeant Dan Cahalan says the group arriving this week is scheduled for fifteen days of vacation. The government’s flying the soldiers from Kuwait to BWI and they’ll have to get their own transportation home, a big logistical problem for those who volunteered to take this leave. In what’s being called the biggest military leave program since the Vietnam war, the troops will be flown from the middle east to Baltimore-Washington International airport in Maryland. After that, those who got little advance notice of their leave will have to make travel plans from Baltimore to Iowa. Cahalan says that no more than ten percent of any group of soldiers can be on leave at one time, and trying to coordinate many different groups for the time off will not be easy. Cahalan says they have to coordinate when everyone gets on the military plane home, not just the 1133rd but troops in that region of the world with the whole operation requiring logistical management. Cahalan says the new changes will not affect the 1133rd members already on their way back to the U.S.The first group approved for leave will come home, then others will be put on a schedule and might not rotate home till January or February. The 1133rd is expected to be stationed in Iraq until at least next April.
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